Career Planning for International Students: How to Make The Most of Placement Opportunities & Careers Network’s Support

By Zoe Chan, LLB Law Graduate 2017, originally from Hong Kong

1.pngI have just graduated from UoB with a LLB in Law – and I have enjoyed every second of it. The community is very inclusive and I got to meet people from all over the world, from Singapore to Nigeria. The support for international students, from both the university and the Guild, got much better throughout the years. In my last year, I even volunteered to be a Global Buddy to help new international students!

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Taming your Instant Gratification Monkey

Jim Reali (Careers Advisor, College of LES)

Recently, I watched a great 15 minute video entitled “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator”, by a blogger called Tim Urban.

In the video, Tim tells his audience how he has always given in to the “instant gratification monkey”, which has distracted him from being a “rational decision maker” and so he hasn’t made the most of his time to do the things he knows he should do – such as working on his university dissertation. Continue reading

International Careers advice is ‘invaluable’

dan-thomas219x146Daniel Thomas recently finished his studies at the University of Birmingham, and he was able to find graduate employment after graduation. Here is what he had to say of his experience:

“Adapting to the British recruitment process was a strenuous task, but the careers network at the University of Birmingham was extremely useful and was integral to me landing a graduate scheme offer with a top global firm.  I completed my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh before starting my master’s degree in Engineering Management. Coming from the U.S. meant that I would not only have to adapt to a different style of teaching but also different employability requirements.

There were countless workshops and presentations that I took advantage of to inform myself of British professional standards. Psychometric testing, detailed application forms and assessment centres were all very new to me, but the careers network was a great source for help. I utilised the careers library for insight and practice examples for psychometric tests and attended one-on-one sessions regarding my prepared application responses and CV content. The office was extremely useful for gauging labour market information and accessing directories with tailored tips for succeeding with particular employers and roles.

The international careers advisors were invaluable resources for educating me in the different etiquette, vocabulary and overall cultural differences to make sure I stood out in a positive light. Ellen O’Brien was incredibly helpful in providing me with personal advice to display my unique selling points and strengths on multiple occasions before my interviews. As a lead facilitator she organised networking events that allowed me to speak with employers that were fully aware of my struggles as a foreign applicant. These events were intimate enough to really allow for uninterrupted conversations with employers to gain insider knowledge into these big organisations.

I can honestly say that one of these events directly resulted in me getting a graduate scheme offer with Ernst & Young. It gave me the opportunity to speak with a recruitment officer who completely changed my opinion on the culture of the organisation and assisted me throughout the whole recruitment process. My scheme starts next September in London and I will be an Information Technology Consultant for financial services organisations regarding risk and compliance across supply chains. This could not feel like any more perfect of a fit and I owe it all to the careers network at UoB!